Submitted by Pandit Tejomaya
Mantra to Fire and Love
On Sunday January 8th, 2017 we gathered at dusk, outside at The Commons under the timber frame canopy surrounded by the purity of falling snow. Pandit Tejomaya led us in a traditional havan, or fire ceremony, in the vedic tradition.
The use of fire as an element of transformation in vedic ceremonies is many thousands of years old. Fire, or agni, is so important in the vedic tradition that the first line of the Rig Veda, which is the oldest written vedic text dating from approximately 1,500 BCE, is an homage to agni, the divine force of transformation.
In the fading light of the winter afternoon, Pandit Tejomaya began the ceremony with purification rituals, blessing and purifying all of us with water. Thus prepared, the sacred fire was lit and Tejomaya made the initial offerings of rice, and ghee, and herbs to invoke the presence of the Guru and the Ganesh. We all then gathered around the fire to offer havan samagree, a mixture of 23 herbs and barks, to the sacred fire. With each offering of samagree, Tejomaya led us in chanting in the very powerful Maha Mrytunjaya mantra (see below).
We made three sets of 108 offerings to the three aspects of karma. First, we offered all of our unhelpful actions and habits from our past karma that blocks us from our Divine potential – the harm we have caused, the untruths we have lived, that which we have taken unjustly, our passions, and our greed; these we burned in the fire. Next we offered the subtle seeds, the stains of our present karma that block us from our Divine potential – ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion and fear; these we burned in the fire. Then, thus freed from these burdens, we offered our commitment to love, our commitment to our future karma, our promise to live up to our Divine potential as beings of pure love.
This was our evening on a dark and snowy January, living in the fires of transformation and committing to the greatest transforming agent – love – for it is said that love, without object, is God.
Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra
om tryambakam yajamahe
sugandhim pushti vardhanam
urva rukamiva bandahanan
mrytor mukshiya ma mrtat
O Lord of the three Mothers of the universe, we worship you. Give us a wholesome environment which is free from pollution and which would promote our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Nourish us with good nutrients. As the seeds from the ripe fruit of the cucumber species, Cucumis usitatissimus, are released, release us from bondage and death, but not from immortality.